Sweet potato starch noodles stir fried with vegetables

Japchae 잡채

Japchae, sweet potato starch noodles stir fried with vegetables and meat, is one of Korea’s best-loved dishes, and one of the most popular on my website as well.

If anyone asks me to recommend a good potluck dish, I don’t hesitate to answer japchae for the simple reason that pretty much everyone loves it. At any gathering it’s hard to pass up these chewy, sweet, and slightly slippery noodles with colorful stir-fried vegetables and mushrooms, its irresistible sesame flavor, healthy amount of garlic, and light, refreshing taste.


Stir frying each ingredient separately seems like a lot of labor, but each one requires a different cooking time and a bit of care, and keeping the color and freshness of each ingredient intact makes for a stunning final presentation. An easy way to make it even prettier and more nutritious is to use more vegetables and less noodles, although this is hard to recommend because the noodles are delicious by themselves.

Let me know if you make this at a party! Double, triple, quadruple the ingredients and let everyone taste your japchae!


 (serves 4):

  • 4 ounces beef, filet mignon (or pork shoulder), cut into ¼ inch wide and 2½ inch long strips
  • 2 large dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 2 to 3 hours, cut into thin strips
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 ounces spinach, washed and drained
  • 4 ounces of dangmyeon (sweet potato starch noodles)
  • 2 to 3 green onions, cut crosswise into 2 inch long pieces
  • 1 medium onion (1 cup), sliced thinly
  • 4 to 5 white mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 1 medium carrot (¾ cup), cut into matchsticks
  • ½ red bell pepper, cut into thin strips (optional)
  • ground black pepper
  • salt
  • vegetable oil



Marinate the beef and mushrooms

  1. Put the beef and shiitake mushrooms into a bowl and mix with 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon sugar, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil with a wooden spoon or by hand. Cover and keep it in the fridge.shiitakejapchae seasoning

Make the egg garnish (jidan):

  1. Crack the egg and separate the egg yolk from the egg white. Remove the white stringy stuff (chalaza) from the yolk. Beat in a pinch of salt with a fork.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil to a heated nonstick pan. Swirl the oil around so it covers the pan, and then wipe off the excess heated oil with a kitchen towel so only a thin layer remains on the pan.
  3. To keep the jidan as yellow as possible, turn off the heat and pour the egg yolk mixture into the pan. Tilt it around so the mixture spreads thinly. Let it cook using the remaining heat in the pan for about 1 minute. Flip it over and let it sit on the pan for 1 more minute.japchae egg garnish
  4. Let it cool and slice it into thin strips.

Prepare the noodles and vegetables:japchae vegetables

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the spinach and blanch for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then take it out with a slotted spoon or strainer. Let the water keep boiling to cook the noodles.
  2. Rinse the spinach in cold water to stop it from cooking. Squeeze it with your hands to remove any excess water. Cut it a few times and put it into a bowl. Mix with 1 teaspoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Put it into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Put the noodles into the boiling water, cover and cook for 1 minute. Stir them with a wooden spoon so they don’t stick together. Cover and keep cooking for another 7 minutes until the noodles are soft and chewy.
  4. Strain and cut them a few times with kitchen scissors. Put the noodles into the large bowl next to the spinach. Add 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Mix well by hand or a wooden spoon. This process will season the noodles and also keep the noodles from sticking to each other.
  5. Heat up a skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil with the onion, the green onion, and a pinch of salt. Stir-fry about 2 minutes until the onion looks a little translucent. Transfer to the noodle bowl.
  6. Heat up the skillet again and add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil. Add the white mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Stir-fry for 2 minutes until softened and a little juicy. Transfer to the noodle bowl.
  7. Heat up the skillet and add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil. Add the carrot and stir-fry for 20 seconds. Add the red bell pepper strips and stir-fry another 20 seconds. Transfer to the noodle bowl.
  8. Heat up the skillet and add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil. Add the beef and mushroom mixture and stir fry for a few minutes until the beef is no longer pink and the mushrooms are softened and shiny. Transfer to the noodle bowl.japchae beef

Mix and serve:

  1. Add 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sugar, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, and 2 teaspoons of sesame oil to the mixing bowl full of ingredients. Mix all together by hand.japchae (잡채)
  2. Add the egg garnish and 1 tablespoon sesame seeds. Mix it and transfer it to a large plate and serve.

japchae (잡채)



  1. Madison& has 1 comment

    I’m having a baby shower and decided to make korean food for the party. I am making jap chae for sure, but i dont know what else to make. What do you suggest? there will be about 20-25 people there and only about 5 of them are korean. Thank you!

  2. Sri& has 2,259 comments

    Thank you so much for this recipe~ I tried it this afternoon and it was a big success! I actually used 3 bundles of noodles and 2 spinach bunches so I had to add a lot more of the sauces when I mixed everything together. I am so happy now that I can make this myself so I don’t need to always get this from a Korean shop or restaurant.

  3. may& has 4 comments


    May i know what kind of Soy Sauce do you use?

    Is it the “ABC Sauce” (Sweet kind) or
    Light Soya Sauce (Salty kind) or
    Dark Soya Sauce (Similar to ABC Sauce).

    Thanks a lot.

  4. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,274 comments

    Bento Pet,
    Thank you very much! You have such a nice blog!

  5. Bento Pet& has 1 comment

    Maangchi! I tried your recipe for Japchae today and it was excellent!! Thank you so much!
    I blogged about you here: http://onabentofrenzy.blogspot.com/2009/03/bento-197.html

  6. dan& has 2 comments

    i really like your website. the question came up earlier about dull knives. may i recommend an aladdin knife sharpener and get a steel hone. it truly only takes a few minutes to get a good sharp knife and is nearly foolproof.

  7. Manuela& has 4 comments

    Oh yum! I can’t wait to try this one out. I’m hooked Maangchi! Hooked on your site. You make cooking Korean food look so easy! :)

  8. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,274 comments

    oh yeah? I’m happy to hear that you were satisfied with the taste of japchae you made! Japchae could be made with so many different kinds of ingredients. I make “buchu japchae” with only beef and asian chives (buchu: 부추). I sometimes add thinly sliced fish cake without using meat which is very delicious.

    You must be good at cooking even though you say you are new to cooking. I’m encouraging you now. ; )

  9. Daphany& has 1 comment

    I just finished making it! I didn’t add onion or green onion since I didn’t have any. I also added zuccini. In the end it still tastes great. I’m a newbie to cooking and this was really easy! Thanks for the video and recipe. I’ll be sure to try it with onion and green onion next time to see how much flavor it adds =)

  10. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,274 comments

    I use dark soy sauce called “jin gan jang” in Korean.

  11. Angela& has 2,259 comments

    Wow! It looks good! What kind of soy sauce did you use?

  12. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,274 comments

    Any tender part of beef will be ok. Short Loin or sirloin part is good.

  13. Patty& has 1 comment

    Hello- I found your wonderful youtube and website. Can you tell me what type of beef you bought for japchae? Also, is it supposed to be darker looking like the ones we buy from the korean supermarket? Is it more brown because they add more soy sauce?

  14. Paruedee& has 1 comment

    Hi Maanchi!

    Thanks for the Video. A friend of mine kept talking about Chapchae until we went to a new Korean restaurant here in Freiburg (Germany). Well, we weren’t impressed with the Japchae they served, so I looked for a recipe to try it out myself. I followed your recipe today and it turned out well. The noodles taste pretty much like the ones made of tapioca (cassava) we have in Thailand. But at home we use them for dessert :)

  15. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,274 comments

    I never remove spinach stems. You did a good job! : )
    Thank you for the update!

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